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  4. 2020.05.19

Covid-19 Disaster and Women

 

The outbreak of Covid-19 has clearly exhibited vulnerabilities of social machinery that sustain people’s life as well as inattention of governments which have left inequalities and poverty intact, regarding the phenomena as personal responsibility issues. The weak are hit more harshly by risks of infection and uncertainties coming from the lockdown of cities.

 

LET’S SHOUT LOUDLY, DISCRIMINATION NO!

 

Women support lives

 

Workers in the fields of healthcare, elderly care, nursing of pre-school children and after-school boys and girls and sales clerks of supermarkets work hard these days as they are excluded from the government’s order of emergency closure of businesses. They are engaged in the essential activities of people’s daily life.

 

Most of these workers are women. And, in fact, most of them are employed on the irregular basis and paid less wages. They have worked in their workplaces for years, facing various obstacles: personnel positioning is inadequate, or it is less than necessary, and unpaid overtime work is routine. Therefore it is hard for them to request day-off when they get sick suddenly. Workers are obliged today to procure facial masks and disinfectant for themselves. They work in unsafe conditions to infection as they are in a closed space, contacting straightly to serve clients.

 

Most of nursing jobs are carried out by women. Their wages are extremely low and they have been excluded from the social insurance schemes. Employers say ‘replacement of workers is easy at any time as they are disposable’. Consequences have emerged amid the epidemic. Pressing issues are improvement of working conditions to evade fatigue and special benefit payment against perils.

 

Protect women and children!

 

Closure of schools came suddenly without any preparations and lasts long. Consultations at local labor unions show difficulties in the families: a parent loses his/her job due to shutting of business, which means no income. When a parent who supports children alone is told to take care of them at home, that means he/she ends up with no earnings. Many of them are irregular workers. People are made overwhelmed when they do not foresee what will happen tomorrow.

 

Domestic violence increases sharply since a time people were ordered to stay home. That has already been reported from Europe and the United States. Some central governments and municipal offices have a program to save victims as a usual job, but in Japan rescue measures are scarce as the issue is dealt with as a personal problem.

 

The elderly and the impaired

 

Most of victims of domestic violence are women and children. It is critical to save them.

 

Elderly women and impaired people who live on a marginal sum of pension or benefit may be deprived of human dignity when proper facilities in the local communities are forced to close. Today’s facts disclose imitations of policies of the governments which have cut budgets to aggravate public services, imposing and relying on the private sector to make voluntary efforts.

 

What is necessary to survive the disastrous epidemic is to eliminate discrimination to ensure the rights to live with human dignity. Let’s shout loudly – Discrimination, No!

 

 

 

May 19, 2020




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